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American Work Visa Types 2024: Purpose, Eligibility Criteria, and Application Process

The United States offers a treasure trove of job opportunities for foreigners, thanks to a wide range of work visa options. Whether you’re an IT professional, a skilled agricultural worker, or an executive looking to transfer within your company, there’s likely a visa that’s perfect for you. However, with so many choices, figuring out which visa to apply for can be confusing.

Therefore, this article will simplify the different types of American work visas by breaking down their purpose, eligibility criteria, and application process. Ready to find the right visa for your American dream? Let’s dive in!

Categories of US Work VISA Types

US offers two main categories for work visa types which are Temporary nonimmigrant visas and permanent residency visas. So lets first understand the basic difference between these two. Temporary nonimmigrant visas are for short-term work in the U.S. and do not directly lead to permanent residency, while US permanent immigrant visas are for individuals intending to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely and result in obtaining a green card.

Types of All US Work VISA Types

Here’s a comprehensive guide to the main types of work visas available in the United States in 2024.

Temporary Nonimmigrant Visas

1# H-1B Visa (Specialty Occupations)

    • Purpose: For professionals in specialized fields such as IT, engineering, and finance.
    • Eligibility: Requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field. The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor.
    • Duration: Initially up to 3 years, extendable to a maximum of 6 years.
    • Application Process: The employer files Form I-129 with USCIS. Once approved, the applicant submits a DS-160 form and attends a visa interview at a U.S. consulate.
    • Link: https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/h-1b-specialty-occupations

2# H-2A Visa (Temporary Agricultural Workers)

3# L-1 Visa (Intracompany Transferees)

    • Purpose: For employees transferring within a multinational company.
    • Eligibility: Must have worked for the company abroad for at least one year within the past three years in a managerial or specialized knowledge role.
    • Duration: L-1A for managers (up to 7 years), L-1B for specialized knowledge employees (up to 5 years).
    • Application Process: The employer files Form I-129 with USCIS. The employee then applies for the visa through the DS-160 form and attends an interview.
    • Link: https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/l-1a-intracompany-transferee-executive-or-manager

4# O-1 Visa (Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement)

5# TN Visa (NAFTA Professionals)

    • Purpose: For professionals from Canada and Mexico under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
    • Eligibility: Must have a job offer in one of the designated professions and meet specific educational and licensing requirements.
    • Duration: Up to 3 years, renewable.
    • Application Process: Applicants from Canada apply directly at the U.S. port of entry, while Mexican citizens apply through the U.S. embassy or consulate.
    • Link: https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/tn-nafta-professionals

Permanent Immigrant Visas (Employment-Based)

1# EB-1 Visa (Priority Workers)

2# EB-2 Visa (Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability)

3# EB-5 Visa (Immigrant Investor Program)

9 Easy Steps to Apply for American Work VISA in 2024

Finding and applying for jobs in the USA that offer visa sponsorship involves several steps. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the process:

  1. Find a Job: Secure a job offer from a U.S. employer who is willing to sponsor your visa.
  2. Employer Petition: Your employer files a petition (Form I-129 https://www.uscis.gov/i-129) for most work visas) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  3. Petition Approval: Once USCIS approves the petition, you’ll receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797 https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance/form-i-797-types-and-functions).
  4. Complete Visa Application: Fill out the DS-160 form (https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/) online for nonimmigrant visas or DS-260 form (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/forms/online-immigrant-visa-forms/ds-260-faqs.html) for immigrant visas, and save the confirmation page.
  5. Pay Visa Fee: Pay the required visa application fee.
  6. Biometric Appointment: Schedule and attend a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Center (VAC) for fingerprinting and photo.
  7. Visa Interview: Schedule and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Bring your passport, application confirmation, and supporting documents.
  8. Receive Visa: If approved, your visa will be stamped in your passport. Collect it from the consulate or have it delivered to your address.
  9. Travel to the U.S.: Enter the U.S. with your visa and start your job!

Zahira Bano

(Associate Editor) Zahira holds a PhD in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashables and some other beauty and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time. She is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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